Marshalls to capitalise on boom with more centres

A boom in metropolitan pedestrian schemes and domestic patios has prompted an upbeat outlook for 2008 from Marshalls, which is more than trebling the number of its landscape-installation centres.

Revenue for 2007 rose seven per cent to £403m, said the paving firm, thanks to strong demand for natural stone and a healthy order book for landscape contracts.

Chief executive Graham Holden said public and commercial sectors were throwing up a flurry of projects for schools, hospitals and pedestrianisation schemes.

"High-profile urban projects such as Liverpool City of Culture, the Olympics and the regeneration that will follow on from the Games in 2012 will underpin the market."

His firm had invested on its landscape-installations business, with a fourth display centre for gardens and drives opening in Enfield last August. Another centre, in Oldham, opened in November followed by a sixth in Bicester a month later. Marshalls expected to have 10 centres open by this spring, he said.

The new centres will be in Batley, West Yorkshire and Derby. Set ups in two Squire's garden centres in Surrey are due around May and an overall investment of around £2m is being set aside.

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